Gay History Month – October 5th: Truman Capote, Peggy Lee and Robert Mapplethorpe Banned In Cincinnati
1726 – Diplomat, spy and solider Chevalier d’Eon who lived his first 49 years as, and her last 33 years as a women is born in born in Tonnerre Brugandy, France. From 1777, d’Éon claimed to be anatomically a woman, and dressed as such. It was not until doctors examined the body after d’Éon’s death discovered that he was anatomically male.
1840 – John Addington Symonds, one of the earliest scholars of gay and lesbian issues is born. Symonds assisted Havelock Ellis in the writing of “Sexual Inversion”. Although he married and had a family, Symonds was an early advocate of “male love”and referred to it as l’amour de l’impossible (love of the impossible).
1961 – The movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s written by Truman Capote and adapted for the screen by George Axelrod opens in theaters.
Capote’s unorthodox views on sex and gender, modern critics have excavated the original novella and movies subtle references to the alternative sexual identities and practices of the text’s male characters, suggesting that Capote intended Breakfast at Tiffany’s as an exploration of the powerful and loving relationships that often exist between straight women and gay men.
1967 – Ethel Merman makes a guest appearance as “Lola Lasagne” on Batman. One of the worst villains ever to appear in the television series.
1969 – Peggy Lee’s camp classic Is That All There Is? enters the top-40 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and gay men have been singing it ever since.
1969 – The Washington Blade publishes its first issue. At that time it was called The Gay Blade and actually wrote articles that contained hard hitting journalism and gay activism unlike today.
1987 – The city commission of Traverse City, Michigan voted unanimously to repeal a law banning the sale of condoms in city limits.
1990 – Dennis Barrie, director of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, was acquitted of obscenity charges after displaying a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit. This was the first criminal trial of an art museum arising from the contents of an exhibition. The group Citizens for Community Values an affiliate of the anti-gay hate group the American Family Associated who also has ties to the Family Research Council organized the protest against Mapplethorpe’s exhibit. The CCV is still active in the Cincinnati area today and boasts itself as being a proud affiliate of the the Family Research Council and the American Family Association.
1998 – The US Congress killed an amendment by Rep Frank Riggs (R-CA) which would have barred San Francisco from spending federal housing money to implement its domestic partner ordinance.